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Video: BYU-Idaho president urges students to consider receiving COVID-19 vaccine

Approximately 50% of BYU-Idaho students are already vaccinated, President Eyring says

BYU-Idaho President Henry J. Eyring speaks during commencement exercises.
BYU-Idaho President Henry J. Eyring speaks during commencement exercises on Dec. 15, 2020. President Eyring is urging students to consider getting vaccinated before classes start this fall.
Ericka Sanders

The president of Brigham Young University-Idaho is urging students to consider getting vaccinated before returning to classes this fall.

President Henry J. Eyring delivered his pre-semester message on the importance of vaccination in a 7-minute video posted on the school’s website on Aug. 6.

“Usually, I try to be funny in videos, as you know,” he said in the video. “At this time, though, we face serious medical threats and associated decisions.”

In his video message, Eyring made the following points:

  • If BYU-Idaho must reduce operations again and implement remote learning because of another COVID-19 outbreak, it could put a strain on the community.
  • “An outbreak of the virus on our campus could significantly impact the surrounding area, including medical resources, particularly hospitals,” the president said.
  • Eyring said about 50% of the BYU-Idaho student body has already received COVID-19 vaccines.
  • So far, BYU-Idaho has not implemented any vaccination requirements on its campus.
  • The president acknowledged that some may not be able to receive the vaccine because of medical or personal conditions. “But collectively we can protect one another by following the recommended guidelines for vaccination, masks and social distancing.”
  • Eyring invited each student to make this a “personal, spiritual decision.”

“Time is of the essence,” Eyring said. “The most common vaccines require a three- to four-week follow-up shot and now we are just six weeks from the beginning of the fall semester. For that reason, my invitation is for you to ponder, decide and perhaps act soon.”

Eyring’s video message to BYU-Idaho students comes one week after BYU announced it will require students, faculty and staff to report their vaccination status ahead of the fall semester.

In July, BYU-Hawaii announced it will require students to be vaccinated against COVID-19 this fall.

All three institutions are owned by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.